Digital wellness illustration by Shai Glickman showing person sitting on bench looking at UI elements on skyscrapers
Digital wellness illustration by Shai Glickman showing person sitting on bench looking at UI elements on skyscrapers
Illustration by Shai Glickman

Digital technologies have taken the world by storm, giving us more ways to connect and express ourselves than ever before. We can tune into news from all over the world, or discover answers to any questions that might come to mind. Yet, with so much information available to us, it’s incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of time, energy, and attention we spend looking at our screens.

That’s where mindfulness comes in.

As part of a recent movement towards digital wellness, mindfulness is one of the many skills that can help us thrive in the modern world. It gives us the ability to use technology in a more balanced way, in which we appreciate the benefits, while staying attentive to the elements that may lead to unhealthy behaviors. …


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Illustration by Shai Samana

Great work happens when we’re inspired to create.

That’s because as organic and free-flowing as creative work can be, we’re ultimately motivated by a clear vision and focused objectives. The work that we do needs a raison d’être, which is exactly what a well-written brief can provide.

Designing without a brief is like walking in the dark. At times, whether it’s due to tight deadlines or an eagerness to start working, we tend to skip over this crucial step and dive right into the work. …


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Photo by Jeremy Lapak on Unsplash

If you’re doing any sort of creative project, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s hard to finish any project.

But you’re not alone. In fact, most people feel this way. It’s all part of the creative process.

Typically, we start a project full of excitement and optimism for what’s possible. But soon, the work becomes tedious, and our early enthusiasm gives way to a constant, steady grind.

We feel as if we want to give up.

We find that there’s more to change. More that we need to add. …


Designing for inclusion in the automotive industry

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Photo by Tyler Nix

I first came across inclusive design as a method of innovation in grad school, and I’ve since been fascinated by its nuances and implications.

By chance, I found a team working in the automotive industry that was testing an inclusive design approach to vehicle innovation. It was the perfect opportunity to put these ideas into practice, and to observe how an inclusive design practice fares in the real world.

An overview

The premise of my work involves researching and designing vehicle solutions for people with disabilities. Assuming a desire for independent travel, and with limited mobility alternatives in the U.S., …


On the similarities between design and writing

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Photo by fotografierende

What makes for good design?

To me, good design enables someone to accomplish something in the simplest way possible. It communicates its purpose with clarity. It’s accessible and can, therefore, be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

I find these qualities reflected in good writing. In both cases, the work reveals a unique point of view, communicates a clear purpose, and presents itself in the simplest way possible. The creator (or team of creators) does the hard work to ensure the end result is meaningful and easy to use.

Forget your generalized audience…it doesn’t exist.

Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person — a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one. …


How to design for mobile accessibility based on 4 ability types

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Photo by Martin Courreges

Mobile accessibility is more important than ever.

A recent U.S. Census Bureau report revealed that 27.2% of Americans — about 85.3 million people — had a disability in 2014.

According to Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smartphone, and 20% of Americans are smartphone-dependent, meaning they rely solely on their mobile devices to access the Internet. If this number continues to grow, it’s imperative that we design mobile sites and applications with accessibility in mind.

If a site lacks accessibility, such as for people who are blind or low vision, it can be considered a form of discrimination. The argument is that a barrier exists which prevents certain groups of people from participating in society (e.g., applying for jobs, making reservations, and purchasing goods online). …


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Source: Alexander Pidgeon

Automakers are designing the next generation of cars with user experience (UX) at the forefront. The merging of physical and digital — driven by electrification, connectivity, self-driving technology, and fluid ownership models — will give rise to unprecedented user experiences. The most successful automakers will bring technologies and services together in ways that are usable and delightful for the end customer.

Originally published by ContentSquare

In the future, cars will resemble our smartphones more than they’ll resemble the cars that we know today — machines composed of gears, fluids, and thousands of moving parts. Instead, cars will be connected devices on wheels, part of a large, complex network of people, devices, and infrastructure. …


10 ways to frame (and reframe) problems effectively

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Photo by Lefty Kasdaglis

To do things differently, we need to think differently.

For teams pursuing innovation, this can mean finding the right problems to solve.

A key to innovation — as Getzels & Csikszentmihalyi (1976) describe in their pioneering research on creativity — lies in how problems are “envisaged, posed, formulated, [and] created.”

“Most schools, all you learn is solving problems; then you get out in the real world, you feel lost because nobody’s telling you what to solve.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

By tendency, we often jump into problem-solving without critically evaluating the problem itself. …


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Photo by Nick Morrison

We rarely talk about writing as a design skill.

Yet, many of our daily interactions with technology are becoming less visual, which means different skills are needed to craft experiences that are memorable and personal. I believe writing is one of these key skills. Great writing can help us craft effective content, think through complex scenarios, and communicate our ideas with clarity and impact.

Great writing produces effective content

Effective content guides users effortlessly through each interaction, helping them get things done in the simplest way possible. Great writing ensures content is informative, well-structured, and easy to understand. It means that words are chosen carefully so that it’s understood by the widest possible audience. It means that content is logical, and therefore easy to scan. …

About

Lillian Xiao

UX Design for VW & Audi 🚗

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